Almost three years ago when the pandemic started, the New Jersey Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance program was overwhelmed by an online crush of applications for benefits.

During his budget address on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Murphy will propose using $35 million in federal funds for ongoing work to replace the state’s antiquated unemployment systems and outdated hardware.

The investment is geared toward:

⚫ Handling increased volume of claims

⚫ Reduce the risk of fraud

⚫ Allow for new self-service functions

⚫ Integrate the state's Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance systems

Murphy's announcement comes after years of complaints from residents.

Get our free mobile app

Also this week, NJ.com reported that they were sometimes unable to reach help when they called various state hotlines for COVID relief, rental assistance, unemployment insurance, the ANCHOR rebates and the MVC.

Tax rebate programs

The governor will also confirm plans to continue the Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters (ANCHOR) program in the 2024 budget.

The governor's office confirms he will announce the Department of the Treasury will continue to raise resident awareness of the ANCHOR program through targeted marketing campaigns, enhanced outreach efforts and expansion of the call center ($2 million) for handling constituent calls.

Expanding the Division of Pensions and Benefits

Murphy will also propose strengthening the Division of Pensions and Benefits this year by allowing it to hire an additional 30 employees and adding capacity in finance technology, data analytics, contract management, and procurements.

In his speech, Murphy will announce the Division will begin spending nearly $19 million on critical technology upgrades and he will say the administration will continue to share data with the Legislature and other partners as it works to develop new efforts to bring health benefits spending closer in line with medical inflation.

Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ
Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ
loading...

More money for MVC

Murphy is also expected to discuss ongoing efforts to have the Motor Vehicle Commission continue to offer more transactions and services online, and he will recommend allocating $5.7 million in American Rescue Plan federal funds to further invest in the MVC’s information technology upgrades to improve transaction efficiency and customer service.

More in the budget

Murphy's budget plan will also include $120 million to replace the outdated State Police Academy in Sea Girt. 

2023 Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge

Photos from the 2023 Seaside Heights Polar Bear Plunge, which raised $2.5 million for the Special Olympics New Jersey.

More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM